Greater Manchester student wants to become one of the youngest MPs in the Commons

  • 18-year-old Paris Hayes from the Green Party announced his candidacy for this year's election
  • He would like to be the youngest Member of Parliament in the UK

Greater Manchester student Paris Hayes has his sights set on becoming the youngest MP in Great Britain.

The 18-year old environmental science student has announced his candidacy for the Green Party in Bolton West. Paris’s main aim in politics is tackling the climate crisis as he believes that by delivering climate justice “we can also deliver economic and social justice at the same time”.

The minimum age for candidacy as an MP was reduced in 2007. According to the latest data from the general election in 2017, the average age of the MP is now 50.

A lot of young people believe there is a lack of student representation and Paris feels that the voice of students is “unrepresented now”.

He said: “We need to get more young people into politics so we can bring fresh ideas and challenge the older views that need challenging in the parliament.”

Paris has been engaged in politics for four years also thanks to high school classes and the Brexit debate. Earlier this year, he called on Bolton council to declare a “climate emergency” with a petition that demanded more action from the authorities regarding climate crisis.

“In some of the towns around Greater Manchester like Bolton, there is sort of a climate change denial when it comes to middle-aged and older people. When I’ve been campaigning, some people said climate change is not real and it’s only an attempt by the government to try to control us,” he said.

Paris with fellow Green Party campaigners

According to a think tank IPPR, the pollution crisis in Greater Manchester is very real, labelling pollution levels “lethal and illegal” in 2018.

However, leading an eco life is not easy for everyone, especially for people living on a tight budget such as students.

Paris said: “I think poor people are finding it harder to move towards the greener products. The responsibility lies with lots of local companies and businesses. It’s again about being able to put pressure on the companies and say: ‘This is what we want and if you won’t do it, we’ll stop buying your products.’”

He believes he is able to “represent both the student and working population while being someone local and having the advantage of being a young person”.

A major part of his compaign is to get more young people onto a political stage because “once they’ve seen someone else do it, it sets a precedent for them to feel that they want to do it as well.”

For a full list of candidates standing in Bolton West, go to the Democracy Club website.